Realtor.com vs. Zillow.com: Realtor's Allan Dalton Calls Zillow Carnival Act

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Director, Communications & Partner Strategies, WellcomeMat

Hot off the presses! 

Realtor.com President Allan Dalton had some harsh words to say about Zillow, according to a report in OCRegister.com. According to reporter Jeff Collins:

"Allan Dalton bitterly criticized Zillow.com, likening the site's trademark Zestimates of home values to a carnival weight and age guesser."

Could this have been the inspiration for Zillow's Carnival of Real Estate?

barton-guesses-weight.gif

 

We would love to listen to a podcast or actually see the video of this heated panel discussion between LLoyd Frink of Zillow and Allan Dalton of Realtor.com. Inman Real Estate blog compared the dicussion to a Jerry Springer show episode. I wonder if anyone did record the debate. Hmmmm?

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"Video is the powerful, yet underutilized form of real estate marketing" - Rudy

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Rainmaker
1,396,359
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Rudy wrote:  "that's interesting. if mls's /NAR did not renew their agreements with realtor.com and pulled out like the NWMLS is proposing to do, what's the alternative? "

Local companies investing in their own websites. Isn't that what the brokers in NWMLS doing? 

"is the way realtor.com treats it's members that bad that NAR members will abandon ship? i wonder how NAR will address this issue. what are the main complaints by members? "

I may be wrong... we are members of NAR, we are not members of Realtor.com. Realtor.com is the website of a vendor (Move formerly HomeStore) that almost all boards / associations provide with listings.  

Oct 20, 2006 11:34 AM #9
Anonymous
rudolph d. bachraty III

maureen - focusing more on ones own business is a good solution.

i'm intrigued by the relationship that NAR and it's members have with realtor.com/move. thanks for giving me a homework assignment for the weekend :) 

rudy.sellsius°

Oct 20, 2006 12:38 PM #10
Rainmaker
46,626
Rudy Bachraty
Director, Communications & Partner Strategies, WellcomeMat - Fort Collins, CO
Oct 20, 2006 01:42 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,396,359
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate
That's a scoop...I will remember I heard it here first... or maybe I will think I read it on Sellsius ° Blog... I will remember that one of the Sellsius° bloggers scooped the story... 
Oct 20, 2006 02:02 PM #12
Anonymous
Anonymous
Cracks me up!  I think it is a bad idea for Realtor.com to make blanket statements about Zillow like that.  I am always of the mind to find a strategic relationship where I can work with competitive products or services that might devalue my own.  It makes me wonder what business school poor little Allen went to.
Oct 20, 2006 02:04 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,396,359
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I was looking back at my blog... 6 weeks ago... the one Trailerpark News left a comment on, yesterday.  I sound very anti Zillow back then... not that I am pro Zillow now.  And today I sound anti REALTOR.com maybe I am just crabby and anti everything. 

I think if I was at the CAR Tech Panel I would have been jeering with the crowd. It's a mob thing...  Yes Zillow wanted to replace REALTORS® and appraisers but it  hasn't proved it can so far.

I wonder if  Ken's "Those that link to (or promote in any other way) Z or Trulia for that matter are helping cause a shift in how we do business." includes those that participate in the blog "Carnivals."  

 

 

Oct 20, 2006 04:16 PM #14
Rainer
129,052
Stefan Scholl
Buyer's Broker of Northern Michigan, LLC - Petoskey, MI
Northern Michigan Real Estate

I had an agent profile on Realtor.com for a couple of years.  As an exclusive buyer agent, I spent innumerable hours trying to generate buyer leads without any listings.  They had some crappy buyer lead generation system that never worked.  So many people complained about the functionality of the system that they finally scrapped it altogether.

Whenever I contacted either the sales or customer service department at Realtor.com, it was like talking to a brick wall.  They had no more insight into the marketing of real estate services than my four year old.

Of course, we all now know that the Homestore was rotten to the core.  The fraud which they perpetrated was epic in proportion.  How could NAR have entrusted these crooks with the Realtor domain and trademark? 

What has Allen Dalton done to improve the level of service which Realtor.com provides to Realtors?  I'm not sure about this, but it like some major MLS's may be jumping ship and ending their Realtor.com feeds.  From what I've read, it sounds like Move.com is more and more becoming a Realtor competitor.   

Oct 20, 2006 06:00 PM #15
Rainer
202,138
Eddy Martinez
Nationwide Funding Group - Highland Park, CA
You have a great sense of humor, i look forward to more of your blogs
Oct 20, 2006 06:26 PM #16
Rainmaker
531,289
Jim Lee
RE/MAX By The Bay - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH

is the way realtor.com treats it's members that bad that NAR members will abandon ship? i wonder how NAR will address this issue. what are the main complaints by members? rudy.sellsius° 

Rudy,

I don't think that many NAR members ever went up the gangplank to get on the good ship Realtor.com in the first place.

Best I can tell somewhere between 10 to a maximum of 15% of all Realtors are paying Move.com anything in the way of enhanced listings or a presence on Realtor.com beyone the free, basic listing Move provides to all.

Their own financials reveal that around 60% of their revenues (to Realtor.com) come from sales to Realtors; the rest is ad revenues on banner ads, etc.

Top Producer, Welcome Wagon, and the other minor divisions are calculated separately.

Put the whole mess together and they've NEVER, that's NEVER, made any significant revenue and show no signs of doing so now.

Their 3rd quarter earnings are due out November 2nd and I'll bet you 50 bucks to a stale doughnut that they come in with less than 5 cents a share and that's being very optimistic.

Here's one of my longtime and ongoing complaints against Realtor.com

http://realtytimes.com/rtapages/19991122_leads.htm

Oct 20, 2006 08:30 PM #17
Anonymous
rudolph d. bachraty III

maureen - we found the story via our feedreader on ris media.

by the way, we all have our days...it's all good.

re: supporting z or t - good question. maybe we should open it up for discussion?

mary - :) it's getting interesting.

stefan - thanks for sharing your experience w/ us re:realtor.com. we're going to do our homework on this issue and would love to get more feedback from other realtors® about their past experiences w/ realtor.com.   

eddy - thanks! we'll be sure to check your blog out too.

 

rudy.sellsius° 

 

Oct 20, 2006 08:37 PM #18
Anonymous
rudolph d. bachraty III

jim - very interesting. thanks for your insight.

if the majority of realtors® are utilizing the basic listing option, why are they not happy? what are they not getting?

since realtor.com seems to be the most visited real estate listing website, despite it's flaws, is there any real possibility of a mass exodus? where would everyone go? is the answer decentralization? how will this effect buyers and sellers? 

rudy.sellsius°

Oct 20, 2006 09:39 PM #19
Rainer
21,118
Dan Jungclas
RE/MAX of Naperville - Naperville, IL
ABR, ePRO, Broker

Bothh zillow.com & realtor.com are worthless... zillow much more so thn realtor.com

Oct 20, 2006 10:53 PM #20
Rainer
21,118
Dan Jungclas
RE/MAX of Naperville - Naperville, IL
ABR, ePRO, Broker
Oops forgot to mention... great poster!  Can I use it to send to some of my colleagues.  It's worth a laugh!
Oct 20, 2006 10:55 PM #21
Rainmaker
46,626
Rudy Bachraty
Director, Communications & Partner Strategies, WellcomeMat - Fort Collins, CO

sure thing dan!

rudy.sellsius°

Oct 20, 2006 11:27 PM #22
Rainer
286,306
Ken Smith
Suburban House Hunters - Arlington Heights, IL
Maureen I include anyone in that statement. If you are promoting Zillow you are helping a company that can care less about the real estate agents and only cares about making a buck. Look at the travel industry and how thousands and thousands of travel agents went from making a good buck to "working in call centers" (qoute from Frink). I am not interested in earning a "call center" workers income are you?
Oct 21, 2006 10:50 AM #23
Rainmaker
1,396,359
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Rudy : I think there's some great info in the comments on 360° and Rain City blogs (Galen's entry) about the value of Realtor.com 

Real estate is local.. why send consumers to a national real estate site that competes with local sites?  I personally don't believe in local sites with all the MLS listings either but I believe NWMLS has one of those.  To me those compete with the brokers and agents own sites too.   

Oct 21, 2006 11:44 AM #24
Rainmaker
138,518
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
I was at the EXPO meeting when they had their discussion.  Frankly I thought Dalton was right on target.  We need to upgrade our public image. We need to give a better picture of what we do and the services we provide.  His main thrust was that an agent is more then an "order taker".   No one knows the local market as well as the local agent.  Zillow can't give an accurate value of a property but many homeowners don't realize that.  Zillow is trying to set themselves up as the authority instead of the local agent.  It's all about the money...
Oct 26, 2006 09:27 PM #25
Anonymous
rudolph d. bachraty III

kaye - thank you for sharing your first hand account with all of us. 

at the inman nyc real estate connect this past january, i heard dalton speak with conviction. he basically spoke about the same things that you mention - our image. this however is nothing new. comparisons to used car salesmen have gone on for many years. real estate agents are superhuman so to speak -  we have fiduciary duties that average citizens do not have. that said, we must act accordingly. 

since real estate agents are independent contractors, no matter what company you work for, you are in essence your own brand. people choose to work with you because they trust you as a professional. real estate is about relationships and we should value each one we have. this is essentially the point dalton eludes to.

rudy.sellsius° 

 

Oct 26, 2006 11:14 PM #26
Rainmaker
138,518
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA

Rudy,

Maybe that's the point if we don't start valuing ourselves we can't expect respect from others..

 

Oct 27, 2006 12:25 AM #27
Rainer
164,544
Gary McAdams
GMAC Schwartz Property Sales - Key West, FL

I stopped using realtor.com's featured home ads due to all their mistakes and excuses.  As for Zillow, they should be shut down.

Jun 27, 2008 06:18 AM #28
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